Tuesday Prompt: Dog Days

Photo by Elena Shumilova

It must have been difficult to go for a walk with me as a child; I would constantly stop to pick worms and slugs off the pavement to bring them to the relative safety of the grass verge. I made my mother do it, too, something that she very often reminds me of. That wouldn’t happen now, though I do sidestep any bugs rather than stamping on them, and am regularly beseeched by friends to catch spiders, insects and—once—a mouse. But I don’t pick up sidewalk slugs any more. My mother is grateful, and the slugs are probably relieved, too.

But it’s interesting to think of how we change as we grow, and that is what has led me to today’s prompt. This can be used for fiction or poetry—it’s up to you to decide. Write a page about a nine-year-old child walking home from school and seeing an injured dog on the roadside. How does the child react? How does he or she feel? What action is taken? Then skip ahead half a century and write another page about the same character, now fifty-nine years old, walking home and seeing another injured dog. What does your character do now? How has their reaction and action changed?

After you’ve written both pages, consider what has happened in those fifty years to have changed your character… And this where your story is.

Good luck!

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